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The Last of the Parochialia

Those of you who've been following the List's progress from the beginning will recall that we've been adding names from Edward Lhuyd's Parochialia bit by bit for the past few years. Covid and lockdown have both affected the work unfortunately, slowing it quite considerably, and this has been compounded by technical problems. In addition, whilst beavering away at the Parochialia we have also received large ingests of crowd-sourced data from Cynefin and GB1900, which had to be added to the List as quickly as possible. However, er gwaethaf pawb a phopeth as Dafydd Iwan would put it, the final names from the Parochialia were uploaded to the List. The majority of them are names from Gower and the area surrounding Swansea, amongst them several Welsh names for long-anglicised places. 

You can find the Parochialia names arranged by volume here:

Volume one:

Volume two:

Volume three:

Or if you would prefer to look at everything all together, you can do so here:

Edward Lhuyd, the creator of the Parochialia was one of the most important figures of his age, and a huge contributor to scholarship in the fields of Welsh and Celtic Studies. Whilst Curator of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, he sent three copies of a questionnaire to each parish in Wales asking for linguistic, geographical, onomastic and scientific information about the parish. The responses were published in three volumes in Archeologia Cambrensis in 1908. They are an eclectic mix of languages, ranging from Welsh to English to Latin, sometimes within the same paragraph, but form a treasure trove of information about Wales at the turn of the eighteenth century. We have focused on recording the names themselves, as you would expect, but when a bit of information about the location in question was given, such as the name of the owner or tenant of the house, or a little of the area's history, we have put it in the notes section, as an aid to the historian or the genealogist.

Unfortunately, it has not proven possible to discover the precise location of each name. Many of the parishes, particularly in the north-east and south-east, have changed considerably over the course of the two centuries since the compilation of the Parochialia, and many names have disappeared beneath the towns and industries that sprung up in those areas. Despite this, the names are in the List, and you can find them in the geographical centre of the relevant parish. If you happen to know where one or more of these are, please let us know so that we can put them in the correct places. You can contact us here:

The work of adding new names to the List continues; the next source we plan to upload is a collection of papers from Argoed, Talybont, Ceredigion, which were given to us by the owner of the farm. We'll discuss these in more depth once the names have been uploaded.

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